FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Whys does Table 16 does not have the codes shown
by the tool?
you have an SRS tool that goes past 2003?
OBDII tools don't work on my BMW, is the R5/FCX-3
an OBDII type tool?
Which lights will the Peake Research R5/FCX-3
The FCX3-16 doesn't reset the CBS lights - what are
How do I know what the codes mean?
I am not a technical person, I only need
the oil tool, right?
What is the difference between the
R5/FCX-3 and the basic R5-A or B?
How long has Peake Research been producing
Is Peake Research a well recognized brand
Does my BMW have SI lights?
Does Peake Research make reset tools for
other cars, like Volvo or Mercedes?
What are SI lights and what are they trying
to tell me?
Does the R5® need batteries or other
special parts that wear out?
Can the R5® damage my car?
Which lights will the Peake Research R5-A
or B reset?
Which connector does my BMW have?
I have lost the code manual for my tool, how
do I get a new one?
My SRS/Airbag light is on, is the SRS tool
a good choice for me?
Does the R5/FCX-3 work on BMW motorcycles?
Will my old R5 work on my new BMW?
I have multiple cars, which tool is best for me?
I'm a mechanic and I require broad compatibility,
which tool is best for me?
Your part numbers are confusing, what does
-16 and -U mean?
I saw the OBD connector under my dash, do
I automatically require the -16 tool?
Does the R5/FCX-3 read and reset codes
on my Mini Cooper too?
I got a code with a "6" or a "b"
in it, but that code does not appear in the code table.
How do I convert the two digit R5 codes to three
I do not understand the definition of the
code shown in the manual.
Does Peake Research make an SRS/Airbag tool
for BMWs built prior to 1994?
If your important question does not appear above: e-mail
Answers To The Above Questions:
R5/FCX-3 vs. OBDII tools:
1.) The R5/FCX-3 is not an OBDII device; it is a factory code
scanner. This means that it reads the full range of detailed BMW factory codes, the same codes the dealer has access to. In contrast, OBDII
tools use a government-mandated, generic code language, and do
not read any BMW factory codes. OBDII is not inherently bad,
but for BMWs and other European makes, OBDII tools suffer significant
limitations. The two most common complaints about OBDII are a.)
"unknown code" messages, or misleading codes that prompt
unnecessary replacement of perfectly good engine components, and
b.) the OBDII device would not reset the service reminder lights.
2.) Our R5/FCX-3 resets the BMW Oilservice and Inspection maintenance
reminder lights. OBDII tools absolutely will not reset those, as
the BMW service lights are manufacturer specific, not generic.
3.) If your BMW is a 1995 model or earlier, you will require the
R5/FCX-3. As OBDII devices are simply not compatible with BMWs of
How to get a replacement Code Book / User's Manual: Please
click here to go to our
manual download page.
Which lights will the Peake Research R5/FCX-3
reset? The R5/FCX-3 code tool will reset the Check Engine light,
Service Engine Soon light, the non-CBS maintenance
indicator (i.e. the Oilservice and Inspection lights and the Maintenance
Mileage indicator) and it can often reset other lights by association.
This means that there are other systems in the car that
check the health of the main ECU, also called a DME. If the DME
has a problem, then the light for the other system comes on too.
For instance, the automatic transmission light will come on when
there is a sudden fault in the DME. Resetting the faults in the
DME, which also reset the Engine light, will bring the DME back
to normal status and all systems monitoring it.
How do I know what the codes mean? We supply a code definition
book with each R5/FCX-3, R5/SRS and R5/EMX. Our devices have a small,
two digit display screen which displays the fault codes (example:
tool shows code "F6". Simply look up "F6" in the
book to see the meaning of the code.)
Should I get the Oilservice reset tool or the R5/FCX-3 ( or
-16) ? Most people who order the low cost Oilservice reset tool
end up buying the R5/FCX-3 later. Why? Because Check Engine lights, also known as the MIL or Service
Engine Soon light, are simply unavoidable in BMWs. Unless you have the R5/FCX-3,
you are put in the position of relying on, or paying, a third party
to read the codes. This usually costs over $100, which happens
to be the price difference between the Oilservice tool and the R5/FCX-3!
Sometimes you find out that the MIL was on for nothing more than
a loose gas cap. However, when faced with a large, hard to understand
repair bill and overly technical explanation, it becomes clear that
the extra money for the R5/FCX-3 would have been money well spent.
Scan tools are popular for a good reason! People who think that
code scanning is too technical have not tried the R5/FCX-3 - it
is fool proof - using one compares in difficulty to checking your
And for the shop techs reading this, you probably already know
that if you can not read a customers codes, they will be forced
into your competitor's shop.
What is the difference between the R5/A or R5/B and the R5/FCX-3?
The R5/A or R5/B only resets the service reminder lights known as
Oilservice and Inspection. These were designed to be compatible only
up to 1999. The R5/FCX-3 is far more capable and has compatibility
past 1999. Of course, the R5/FCX-3 will reset the Oilservice and
Inspection too, also known as the non-CBS maintenence lights. Its
main strength is its ability to read and display all engine fault
codes, and reset the "Check Engine" and "Service
Engine Soon" lights. Please click here
to learn why most people buy the R5/FCX-3 instead of the R5/A or
Another important difference is that The R5/B and R5/A are not
available in configurations that go past year 2000. So if your car
was made 2000 or later, you will need the R5/FCX-3.
How long has Peake Research been in business? Peake Research
Corporation has been producing and selling electronic tools for
BMWs since May of 1989.
Is Peake Research a well recognized brand name? The high
quality and low cost of the Peake Research R5 reset tool has gained
us recognition from all of the leading service manual publishers.
The R5 is shown in use in the Robert Bentley, and Haynes service
manuals and is the first choice recommendation of service manual
publishers Chilton's and Mitchell's. We are also featured in the
popular All-Data CD BMW repair database. Many BMW dealerships use
our product and refer customers to us.
Does my BMW have Service Lights? The Service Interval lights
("SI" Lights) were introduced in 1982 on the various German
models and were first seen in the US models in 1984. If your BMW
was built 1984 or later, it has SI lights. SI lights come in varying
forms, some with countdown leds, some with a numeric countdown.
Our tools work on all types of BMW service reminder systems. However,
our less costly R5/B was not designed to work on models past 1999.
For those cars you will need the R5/FCX-3.
See our technical explanation of the BMW SI lights.
Does Peake Research make reset tools for other cars, like Volvo
or Mercedes? We specialize in BMW and the late model Mini Cooper.
At this time we do not offer any products capable of reading or resetting other
Does the R5® need batteries or other special parts that
wear out? No. None of our tools have replaceable parts or batteries.
It sources it's power from the car's electrical system as soon as
it is plugged in.
Can the R5® damage my car? No. Unlike low quality reset
tools, our product is made to fit into only one spot in your engine
compartment. It can not be plugged into the wrong place and can
not be plugged in wrong. To further assure proper and safe operation
we test each and every unit we make. Every unit produced since 1989
has been fully tested prior to shipping.
What lights will the Peake Research R5/A, and R5/B® reset?
The R5 reset tool will reset the Oilservice and Inspection and service
Is the R5/SRS a good choice for me? That depends on your
problem. When you consider the value of knowing what is wrong with
your car before you take it in for a repair, the R5/SRS is always
a good value. However, if you are considering performing your own SRS
system repairs, the extent of the repairs should play a role in
your decision. In general, post-accident SRS system repairs are
not DIY procedures, and are best left to people with proper tooling
and training. Minor events such as an SRS light caused by
swapping in a racing seat for a track day, are DIY procedures.
BMW Motorcycles: Unfortunately, we do not offer a scan and
reset tool for BMW motorcycles.
Will my old FCX tool work on my new car? That depends on
the new car. If you have an R5/FCX (built and sold before August
2003) it is very unlikely that it will work on any BMW built past
2000. If you have the old R5/FCX-II, and your car is 2002 or older,
it is possible that the AB03 adaptor will adapt the tool. In any
of these scenarios it is best to contact us
I have multiple cars, which tool is best for me? You need
the mechanics R5/FCX-3-U tool, see below.
I'm a mechanic and I require broad compatibility, which tool
is best for me? Mechanics, and people with more than one BMW,
require an adaptor along with a tool. We sell more R5/FCX-3-U tools
to mechanics than anything else. The -U designation indicates that
it is a R5/FCX-3 with an AB03 adaptor. The R5/FCX-3 covers 1987 to
roughly mid-2000, and the adaptor takes the R5/FCX-3 past 2000. The
adaptor will also work with the R5/SRS tool.
Your part numbers are confusing; what does -16 and -U mean?
The -16 came from the 16 pin OBDII connector located under or near
your dash board. If a tool does not have the -16 designation, that
means it plugs into the 15 or 20 pin
connector under the hood. The -U means "universal"
indicating that part number (e.g. R5/FCX-3-U) is a tool, such as
the R5/FCX-3, plus the AB03 adaptor. This provides a broad "universal"
level of compatibility.
I saw the OBD connector under my dash; do I automatically require
the FCX3 ending in "-16"? No. All BMWs built 1996
to roughly mid year 2000 have both the OBD
connector AND the 20 pin, under-hood BMW connector. The rule
here is that if you have the connector under the hood, you must
use the tool that plugs in under the hood. Otherwise, the tool with
the OBD plug will plug in and power up, but you will discover that
you can not do a service light reset. Or, in the case of the SRS
tool, you will not be able to read or reset SRS codes. If your car
is built in or between the years 2000 and 2003, check under your
hood to see if your have the round 20 pin connector.
How do I convert the two digit, R5 codes to the three digit
dealer codes? The R5 and the factory tool read the exact same
codes. The difference is the display size - they use a large LCD
screen - we use a small two-digit led screen. To see a numeric,
hexadecimal to decimal conversion table, click
Does the R5/FCX3 read and reset codes on my Mini Cooper too?
The R5/EMX is the proper tool for your Mini Cooper. Unfortunately,
the R5/FCX3 will not work on your Mini, as it is made specifically
I got a table number or a code with a "6" it, but
that code does not appear in the code table. Your are looking
at a "b" not a "6". Our most common tech support
call is for table 16 not having the codes reported by the
tool. It is actually table 1b. You can tell a six from a B if the
top horizontal segment is lit. See explanation and picture in the
manual that came with the tool.
I do not understand the definition of the code shown in the
manual. Most of the definitions in the manual are straight forward
and self explanatory. However, on occasion you will get a code that
is a little more technical than you are used to, or uses abbreviations
that are unobvious. For the abbreviations, please refer to the glossary
in the back of the tool manual. Some of the strange abbreviations
are explained there. As for highly technical codes, we suggest you
google the exact code definition from our manual. You wil likely
find a discussion. You can also purchase a repair manual for the
car, or buy the factory CD roms from BMW.
Does Peake Research make an SRS/Airbag tool for BMWs built prior
to 1994 or after 2003? Unfortunately, we do not offer an SRS
tool for BMWs made prior to 1994 or after 2003. Our engine tool
the R5/FCX... will cover engine lights/codes and the SI lights,
but not the SRS codes.
CBS stands for "Conditions Based Service": The
CBS system became standard equipment on many models in 2005,
all models made 2006 and later, and all 745's. People often confuse
the Oilservice and Inspection lights with the CBS system. However,
they are entirely different. Our tools will not reset the CBS maintenance
lights. If you have a 2005 or later it is important to be able to
tell CBS from SI. The most notable difference between the CBS system
and the SI (oilservice and inspection) system is the oil change
CBS: will just say "oil" (The R5/FCX316 can not reset
SI: will say "oilservice" (the R5/FCX3 can reset it)
Other visible differences exist to help you tell CBS from SI. For
example, CBS gives a more detailed listing of the maintenance that needs to be
done. Where the SI system will simply say "Inspection", the CBS
system will list detailed items on your dash, such as fluids, belts,